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For cancer specialists, disease can make them better doctors

San Francisco Chronicle, June 12, 2014
Dr. Pamela Munster's colleagues viewed the mammogram results and then played out a scene she knows well: the furrowed brow, the intense look of concern, followed by the composed, reassuring face for the patient's benefit. They weren't looking at her patient's mammogram. These were Munster's results. They were acting the same way she did when she was about to deliver bad news to her cancer patients. "I've done this all," said Munster, a breast cancer specialist who now runs UCSF's early-phase clinical trials program. "They were looking at it intently, and it started to sink in that it might be bad."